Working from home seems great, spending more time with family, being able to work in your pajamas, and no commute time to worry about! With the evergrowing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are being told to work from home- which is an adjustment, to say the least.
Working from home can definitely be more challenging, whether it is because of issues focusing on work or numerous family interruptions throughout the day. Here are our top 10 tips for staying sane and focused when working from home so you can make the best of each day. On the bright side, think of all the working out/self-development/ chores you can do on what used to be your commute time!
The Health Fitness Revolution team hopes you come out of this little bump in the road healthier and more productive!
- Set Boundaries: When working at home, you may be surrounded by people, such as family, friends, and roommates. It is difficult for them to realize that you are working when all they see is you staring at your computer. Start by telling everyone who is at home that you will be working between certain hours. Let them know that they should not disturb you unless it is an emergency. It may be beneficial to put a sign on your door to remind everyone that you are technically at work.
- Don’t Work in Bed: If you start your workday by getting into bed, you will most likely get tired and have a hard time feeling fully awake. When you wake up in the morning, start your day by making your bed and follow the regular morning routine that you had before working from home. If possible, avoid working in your bedroom at all, keep it a sacred space for sleep and relaxation.
- Avoid Places of Distraction: The easiest way to be successful when working from home is to pretend you are at an office. Don’t work where daily chores can distract you, no matter how loudly the laundry or dishes may be calling you. If you need to, get all the chores done before you start your workday and don’t turn on a TV until after your workday.
- Avoid Isolation: When at an office, you are never alone. There are always coworkers to chat and connect with, and working from home should be the same. Working from home can create a sense of isolation due to the lack of socialization. Make time to stay connected with others, make dinner plans with friends over Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom with your favorite coworkers.
- Take Breaks: Aim to take a 15-minute break every 75-90 minutes of work. Make sure that your break does not involve any screens. You are working, staring at a screen, all day. Give your brain and eyes a rest from artificial light. Take a walk outside, talk with your family, or play with your pet. Your productivity will increase if you take regular breaks throughout the day to relieve some stress.
- Sleep Well: There is no doubt that when our bodies are properly rested we are happier and more productive the following day. It is important to set work hours and then work only during those hours so that you can give yourself time to wind down from the day and relax before going to bed. Set up filters on your phone and computer to stop receiving notifications after your workday is over.
- Exercise: Take time to find an exercise you enjoy. Doing this, either before work or after, will give your body the reprieve it needs from sitting for most of the day. Exercise also boosts the immune system, elevates your mood, and enhances overall productivity. You should also take breaks throughout the day to stretch your muscles for a few minutes. It is a healthy way to break up the day and keeps you from overworking your brain.
- Music: Listening to music is proven to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. It increases work endurance, elevates your mood, and even helps with memory. Having light musical background noise while your working can help you stay focused and makes for a more fun work environment than just sitting and working in silence.
- Three Lists of Three: There are days, even in an office, where ideas are not flowing and it is difficult to stay productive. Keep three different lists with three different tasks on each. The first list is three tasks that you will complete that day. The second list is three tasks that you would like to finish, but aren’t essential for that day. The third list is three tasks that eventually need to be completed. Doing this will keep you productive and finish what needs to be done early in the day.
- Know Your Limits: Most people that work from home do not work a full eight hour day. This is simply because at home you are able to work more efficiently without distractions or off-hand tasks from coworkers. Keep track of your time, marking when you start work, finish a task, or are taking a break. Here is a link to an unintrusive time tracking application. This will help you visualize your day and see how much time you need to set aside for work and breaks. Don’t overwork yourself or you will run out of steam.